If you’re like so many alcoholics in this world today, you truly sit down and wonder if there is life after stopping drinking. You wonder if you’ll ever feel comfortable in your own skin without having a drink in your hand. You wonder if life can feel normal to you without being under the influence of alcohol.
Here’s the thing… Most alcoholics wonder about this. Especially the alcoholics that drink on a regular, daily basis. It’s normal to wonder if life could ever feel the same, or at least go back to feeling somewhat like it used to prior to addiction grabbing hold of your heart.
I’m here to tell you that yes, it certainly is possible. But you’re never going to reach that place unless you believe that it can happen for you.
Now don’t get me wrong, because I don’t want to scare you off instantly. That would be very counterproductive. But here’s what I mean…
No one expects you to develop the belief that there is life after stopping drinking right away. You might not develop this belief for months after initially quitting drinking. For some people, it could even take years.
Here’s what you need to do…
You need to enter some type of treatment program. You can either go to an inpatient rehabilitation center to start, or if you’ve been sober for a little while, an outpatient program might be better for you.
If neither of those options sound all that appealing, then maybe you’d be better off checking out a drug and alcohol counselor in private therapy. This is an effective method for some people, and for others it doesn’t work.
Basically, you need to figure out the type of treatment that will work best for you. You need to come up with a plan that suits your needs and personality. Remember, everybody is different and what works for one person might not work for another.
Another excellent option would be to join a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. After you go to the meetings for a while, listen to the stories and hear what other alcoholics have to say, you’ll learn full well that there is life after stopping drinking.
It’s the continued exposure to the message that life goes on after drinking that will eventually convince you that it’s a possibility for you, just like it’s a possibility for anyone else. So you cannot give up before the magic happens. That’s a famous AA saying, and it’s very true.
Let’s take a look at a quick story to help hammer this point home…
Say you go an AA meeting a day for two weeks. You hear the stories. You listen to the speakers. You start to learn the message. But for some reason, it just doesn’t quite sink in.
And don’t be surprised if this happens, because two weeks is not much of a commitment. Alcoholics Anonymous actually recommends you go to 90 meetings in 90 days. This isn’t an accident. They want you to continuously stay exposed to the message that there is life after stopping drinking.
Getting back to our story…
So, the message doesn’t sink in within two weeks and you walk away from Alcoholics Anonymous. You convince yourself that it just doesn’t work. What happens next is very typical.
You manage to stay sober for a while even after you give up on your treatment plan. You battle your addiction day after day, fight the urge to drink as often as you can until one day you will eventually cave in. One day you just can’t take the pressure of life. And since you have no support system in place, you finally say screw it and go out and get loaded.
Unfortunately, this is a typical story of those who do not believe there is life after stopping drinking.
But what would’ve happened if you’d done things just a little bit differently…
What if you didn’t give up on Alcoholics Anonymous after two weeks? What might have happened if you stuck with the program and did your 90 meetings in 90 days, and eventually became an active member of this incredible community?
If you held on just a little bit longer, and you waited for the magic to happen, you will have eventually learned that there is life after stopping drinking.
How do I know this?
This is my life. I lived the exact things I’m telling you today. And there are millions of other people in this world who live in this story in their own way.
We all come from different backgrounds. We all come from a different social structure. We all have a different family and experienced different things.
But we also all have one thing in common…
We’re all addicted to alcohol, and some of us other substances as well.
As a group, we learn together that there is life after stopping drinking. We learn that we don’t need to go through this struggle all by ourselves any longer. We learn that there are so many others just like us, ready, willing and able to help one another get through the tough times.
You have to be willing to embark upon a new journey. You have to be willing to open up your mind, expand your belief for just a little while and see that there is life after stopping drinking.
You have to trust your higher power. You have to believe that your life is more than just seeing how quickly you can get to the bottom of a beer or liquor bottle. You have to believe that your life is more than just pouring one drink after another down your throat.
Just like most people, I learned this lesson the hard way. I struggled for years with my addiction, and I had to hit rock bottom before I was able to turn my life around.
Remember, there is life after stopping drinking. You have to grab hold of it, and hang on without ever letting go.